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Feeling Old

Feeling OldOn a windy afternoon when the cornfields were green oceans and hot wind made green waves... I felt old...

"Red Dog," I said, "sometimes when I rub my whiskers, I feel my father's face. Sometimes when I look at this sun-browned, tough, old skin on my arms, I remember how when I was a child I sat beside my father as he drove a team of horses through these fields. To make this farm, my father and grandfather drained a swamp and cut and burned its trees. When I was young the dirt in these fields smelled like swamp mud and wood ashes, but now that odor is gone. Red Dog, sometimes when we walk through these fields I feel like dried-up ink in an old book."

Red Dog walked beside me. His red hair glowed in the afternoon sunshine like a fire in the woods. His lips and tongue were wet and his eyes sparkled like cold water at the surface of a forest pond... like stars on a clear, winter night when the wind blows. And when he looked at me, his face was like that of a baby squirrel seeing the sky for the first time.

"Red Dog," I said, "walking with you keeps me young."

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